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10th anniversary conference: Successful Backyard Breeding and Raising of Heritage Turkeys

At AHTSI's 10th anniversary Conference in August 2023, two people were made Life Members. Congratulations to Clint Brown and Ros McMillan, who have both contributed to the success of AHTSI over the last decade.

Details of conference presentations and photos over the course of the conference will be uploaded as they're ready.

Photo: President Greg Hoffman holding Clint Brown's Life membership award; Daryl Deutscher holding his award presented at the 2017 conference; Megg Miller, Patron of AHTSI; and Ros McMillan holding her Life Membership award.

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Raising Heritage Turkeys in Australia is a compendium of practical ideas and suggestions for current and new turkey breeders. With over 200 photos, including photos of Australia's nine standard turkey varieties, it answers questions on all aspects of raising turkeys from egg to maturity asked by turkey breeders around Australia. 

RRP $49.95 plus p+h

To order a copy, go to the Contact page.

Mission Statement:

The Australian Heritage Turkey Society Inc (AHTSI) has four main objectives:

1. to promote and preserve varieties of rare turkeys in Australia.

2. to establish a registration system to ensure the gene pool is identified and protected, thereby securing the survival of old established lines and newly developed colours.

3. to involve and educate the public about heritage turkeys.

4. to follow the protocol of the Australian Poultry Standards committee by documenting stages in the development of new varieties, to ultimately contribute to an inclusion in the Australian Poultry Standards.

What is a heritage turkey?

Unlike chickens, ducks and geese, which are made up of a number of different breeds, domestic turkeys comprise but one breed, with a number of varieties. The Australian Poultry Standards (2nd edition) recognises nine varieties. Check the Photo Gallery to identify standard and new/developmental varieties.


A heritage turkey is one which:

1. can mate naturally.

2. is adaptable to variations in its surroundings e.g. food, weather.

3. has a life-span of at least five years.

4. has a slow to moderate growth rate.

5. has played a role in the development of the Australian turkey industry.

Turkey Breeding Hubs

​​In June 2020, AHTSI established breeding hubs for the 9 standard Australian turkeys plus 2 others of interest (Painted and Black-winged Bronze) as our response to most varieties being critically endangered. Successful applicants are breeding one variety of turkey and being mentored by an experienced turkey breeder in the processes of raising, selecting and breeding turkeys. Contact the Breeding Hubs Coordinator Roslyn McMillan if you're interested in finding out more about joining a breeding hub.


Become a member of AHTSI by downloading our membership form here.

If you need help with breeding or raising your turkeys, please send us a message through the Contact page or join the AHTSI Facebook group and ask your questions there.

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